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‘The Dark Tower’ Begins Production, Stephen King Says It Starts “In The Middle Of The Story,” Will Have Modern Day Setting

'The Dark Tower' Begins Production, Stephen King Says It Starts "In The Middle Of The Story," Will Have Modern Day Setting

First, let’s get it out of the way: Matthew McConaughey and Idris Elba are officially confirmed for “The Dark Tower.” Even more, cameras are now rolling on the project which had some big ambitions, including multiple films, and a TV series, but it seems the latter idea isn’t quite locked down yet. And even more, the first film, won’t be starting with the first book in Stephen King‘s series. 

“[The movie] starts in media res, in the middle of the story instead of at the beginning, which may upset some of the fans a little bit, but they’ll get behind it, because it is the story,” the author told EW
“A lot of it takes place in our day, in the modern world,” director Nikolaj Arcel teased, though everyone involved at the moment is declining to say what exactly the source material for the movie will be.

READ MORE: The Essentials: 5 Great Films Based On Stephen King Novels

The magazine has done some speculation, and guess that the saga of Roland Deschain and The Man In Black will start with the third book, “The Waste Lands,” because it’s where much of the story begins to take shape, and even though it’s set in 1977, it could easily be updated. But again, that’s just supposition.

As for the early parts of the story, that stuff is being saved in the hopes that the TV series plan does come to fruition. “They’re still holding on to this idea that they can do a TV series, and they’ve got it pegged for that,” King said, and it would seem everyone involved is waiting to see if the movie clicks with audiences before going all in with a massive franchise. 

“Other people have tried fantasy spectacle. Sometimes it works, sometimes it works really well when it’s based on a series of books, like ‘The Hunger Games‘ or ‘Harry Potter,’ and sometimes it doesn’t,” King added. “What I have to go back to is this: We have Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey, two great actors. You’ve got a great production team and Akiva Goldsman as the primary script writer. The team is in place, so we’ll hope for the best.”

“The Dark Tower” opens on January 13, 2017.

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Modern day?? Oh dear god, what have they wrought :(


Stephen you are correct. I read the script and can assure you it has absolutely nothing to do with the novels.


Akiva Goldsman’s involvement does not inspire confidence.


The Waste Lands only takes place in 1977 for one character and only briefly… the VAST majority of the book happens in the distant future. The second book, The Drawing of Three, takes place in several different modern-ish day periods but will be very difficult to translate into a film due to it’s Quantum Leapish "body in a body" conceit.

For fans of the book, saying the movie takes place largely in a modern day setting is… troubling. I remain hopeful, especially with the two attached stars, and I recognize a straight adaptation would have been next to impossible and was always unlikely. But still, a touch more cautious than I was before today’s news.

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